Strength Basics

Getting stronger, fitter, and healthier by sticking to the basics. It's not rocket science, it's doing the simple stuff the right way. Strength-Basics updates every Monday, plus extra posts during the week.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


GOMAD is an acronym for "A Gallon Of Milk A Day." Specifically, whole milk. 3.25% fat.

Do what? You read that right. You drink a gallon of milk a day, 7 days a week. It is a nutritional centerpiece of a few workouts. These famously include Starting Strength (frequently reference in this blog) and 20-Rep Squats and Randall Strossen's Super Squats. It'll work on any heavy training program, assuming it's built around basic, compound exercises. Squats, deadlifts, pullups, bench presses...not leg extensions, concentration curls, lat raises, and tricep pressdowns.

Who is this for? Basically, underweight trainees trying to gain weight. You drink a gallon of milk a day, on top of your other caloric intake. It's not a substitute for other foods, you add it. If you're trying to lose weight, if you're allergic to milk or opposed to drinking it for religious or because you're a vegetarian, or if you're lactose intolerant and can't abide the lactase's probably not for you. Some trainees have claimed they lean out on GOMAD.

So what's in a GOMAD? According to several online calorie counting sites, it has:

Calories: 2,342 kcals
Fat: 126.9 grams
Carbohydrates: 176.5 grams
Protein: 125.7 grams
And more than 4 grams of calcium and 5.5 grams of potassium.

It's also a whole food. Proponents claim it has more of a growth benefit than eating the same number of grams of protein, fats, and carbohydrates. Some other factor or combination of factors seems to make it especially effective when combined with a regular diet and heavy lifting.

What about you? My personal experience with GOMAD is limited. I'd tried it in the past, but only succeeded in discovering I got an allergic reaction. I tried smaller amounts of milk, but I got the same symptoms (minus the swelling) on a smaller scale. I finally gave up on dairy altogether, although I'll sometimes take the pain in order to have some cheese or a milk-based meal. So I can't personally attest to its value...but I'm happy to tell you about it. You can decide for yourself if it's worth trying.

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